Barcelona have finally announced the appointment of former player and club legend Xavi as the new head coach after he left Al-Sadd on Friday.
He puts pen to paper for a two-and-a-half-year deal, taking over from Ronald Koeman who was sacked last week following Barca’s defeat to Rayo Vallecano with the Spanish giants sitting in a disappointing ninth place in the league.
Xavi’s first game in charge will be the derby against Espanyol on November 20 after the international break.
The club announced the appointment with an emotional video of Xavi’s best moment in Camp Nou at around 2am Spanish time on Saturday.
Barca said in a statement: ‘FC Barcelona have reached an agreement with Xavi Hernandez for him to become first team coach for the rest of the current season and two more seasons.’
It is now expected that Xavi will arrive back in Barcelona this weekend and his presentation as a coach will take place in a public event at Camp Nou on Monday. He will then appear in the press room for his first press conference.
Xavi has been honing his coaching skills at Al-Sadd, winning 7 trophies in less than four years and now his dream of becoming Barcelona’s boss is now fulfilled although, the club is in a difficult situation.
Barcelona are in a major crisis: they are over £1billion in debt due to the adverse effects of coronavirus; they are without Lionel Messi; and they are in a miserable state on the pitch, limping from one bad result to another.
Xavi will now be expected to turn things around, reminiscent of a former player and rookie coach turned veteran, Pep Guardiola.
Xavi has said his farewell to Al-Sadd’s players on Wednesday as he shook all the players’ hands after final whistle. On Friday, he did the same for all the staff and club’s officials.